Geysers on Enceladus
Geysers on Enceladus (NASA/JPL/SSI)

Saturn’s Moon Shows Signs of Life

Massive ocean, geysers below the ice

Geysers on Enceladus
Matthew Zampa

Saturn has 62 moons. One of those, Enceladus, is now the second to show signs of life. Thanks to NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, we now know there is an ocean covering most of the moon’s southern hemisphere—and it is huge. Scientists claim the dimensions of their under-ice findings are roughly as deep as the Mariana Trench and as wide as Lake Superior.

Good luck getting to it, NASA. The ocean is encased below at least 18 miles of ice. 

Scientists have long observed geysers on Enceladus, but the discovery of an ocean increases the odds that Enceladus could harbor extraterrestrial life, according to the journal Nature.

If the mission receives additional funding, Cassini will fly past Enceladus three more times in late 2015 to sample vapor plumes and collect data.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: NASA/JPL/SSI